I’m a firm believer in owning your choices and taking control of your life. But in order to move forward, you must spend some time looking back. Looking at our debt and how we accumulated it; looking at our 20s and what we spent our time doing; and even going as far back as our childhoods.
Whether we like it or not, our childhood experiences shaped certain parts of our personalities as adults. Were you one of many children (like me) and had somewhat of a scarcity mindset when money was involved? Or were you an only child given an endless supply of the things you wanted, including money?
Whatever your situation was, you were learning from it the moment you were welcomed into this world. Our parents, our siblings, our relatives and our friends were our most consistent teachers. We watched our family’s struggles with paying the bills or their lavishness with money as a result of having a lot of it. Subconsciously, we took on their actions and created our own money cues that we carry with us still as adults.
Like many people, I was shocked to see how my learned money behaviors spilled over into other areas of my life. And the biggest giveaway was my relationship with food. When I was given a treat as a child, I would devour it immediately. I was afraid that if I didn’t, I would lose my treat. As an adult, I discovered this pattern led to overeating. And that related directly to my patterns of overspending. Have you noticed anything like this in your life?
Sometimes, I think many of us feel like we’re trapped by our habits. When we’ve grown comfortable with a certain action, we feel like it’s so ingrained in whom we are as human beings that it’s impossible to change it.
Luckily, we are not our inherited habits. We’re free-thinking human beings, and we can take charge of our actions. We are the deciders of our fate; if you want a life a filled with financial, personal and professional abundance, we can take meaningful steps towards that daily.
What are your inherited beliefs? Take some time this week to look back on your childhood. Think about the things you saw your parents doing; describe the role money played in your household growing up. Try and remember their attitudes toward their finances; were they positive or negative when they spoke about money?
Now, compare your money experiences as a child to the things you do now as an adult. Think about the habits you feel are holding you hostage. More than likely, those actions are stemmed from specific things you learned growing up. Accept those experiences – as well as the money habits you have now as a result of them – without judgment, and let them all go. Once you do that, you’ll be able to move forward in your abundant life.